General liability insurance protects your business from financial damages that could arise from claims of property damage, personal injury or advertising injury. This type of insurance is important for any business, as it can help protect your company's assets in the event that you are sued. General liability insurance can also cover medical expenses if someone is injured on your property.
How Many Types of Business Insurance are Available?
There are many different types business policies, including professional liability, product liability and workers' compensation insurance, but general liability is one of the most important types of coverage for any business. If you are sued for damages, your general liability policy can help cover the cost of a lawyer and any settlements or judgments that may be awarded against you.
General liability insurance is sometimes referred to as "commercial general liability insurance".
I Run a Small Business Out of My Home, Do I Still Need General Liability Insurance?
Yes, you do. While you may not need to protect assets such as building and it's contents, general liability protects you from situations where you may be held liable for injuries to people or damage to property. A typical home business insurance policy will cost a few hundred dollars per year.
If you have any employees working for you, it is also a good idea to invest in workers' compensation insurance. This type of insurance will cover medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured while working.
What is Worker's Compensations Insurance?
Worker's compensation insurance pays benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Benefits can include medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits. Workers' compensation is typically mandatory in most jurisdictions, meaning employers must provide coverage for their employees.
Worker's compensation insurance is designed to protect both employees and employers. Employees are protected because they can receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident or illness. Employers are protected from lawsuits filed by employees who are injured on the job.
Worker's compensation insurance is typically offered by insurance companies, although some employers self-insure. Coverage may be purchased as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) or as a stand alone policy.
Is Poor Workmanship Covered Under My General Liability Insurance?
A general liability policy is not warranty insurance, meaning it will not cover you for poor workmanship. However, if someone sues you claiming that your work was faulty and caused them damages, your general liability policy will provide coverage.
What is a Business Owner's Policy (BOP)?
A business owner's policy is a type of insurance that bundles together general liability and property insurance. If your business has a commercial location, then you need to insure the building and contents. A BOP will cover these items as well as provide general liability protection.
A BOP typically costs a few hundred dollars per year and can be tailored to the specific needs of your business.
Is my equipment and tools covered under general liability insurance?
Your tools and equipment can be covered under a general liability insurance policy, also known as "Inland Marine Coverage". If your equipment is used in the course of your business operations and causes injury or damage, it would likely be covered. However, if your equipment is simply stored on your premises and is not used in connection with your business, it may not be covered. You should check with your insurance provider about specific coverage for your tools and equipment.
Does my general liability insurance cover my subcontractors?
Your subcontractors that you use are not protected under your general liability insurance policy. You will need to get a separate policy for them or add them as an additional insured on your policy. This usually means higher premiums for you.
The best practice is to have subcontractors insured and to add you as an additional insured on their policy. Your insurance won't be responsible for their damages this way.
If you are using a licensed and insured subcontractor, then their policy should cover them. You will want to check with your insurer to be sure and ask for a COI (certificate of insurance) from the subcontractor.
If your subcontractor lacks insurance, you could be responsible for any losses they incur. At all costs, avoid hiring uninsured subcontractors.
What is professional liability insurance?
While general liability provides coverage for accidental bodily injury and property damage, professional liability protects you from lawsuits alleging that you failed to provide professional services or that your services caused harm.
Professional liability insurance (PLI), also called professional indemnity insurance (PII) or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, is a form of business liability insurance that helps protect professionals such as real estate agents, accountants, architects etc.
Professional liability provides coverage for:
- Wrong advice
- Personal injury like libel or slander
It also provides legal defense if your advice has caused your client harm.
How do I show proof that I have general liability insurance for my small business?
Every general liability policy can issue certificate of insurance (COI). Many potential clients will ask you to provide them with a COI in order to do business with you.
The first step is to contact your insurer and request a COI. Most insurers will be able to generate one for you within 24 hours. If you have an online account with your insurer, you may be able to download the COI directly from their website.
Is the coverage I purchased for my general liability sufficient to cover any work I do?
Your general liability provides only coverages for work that you list on your policy. If you want to add a new job or project, you will need to update your policy to reflect this change.
You can usually do this by logging into your account on the insurer's website and making the necessary changes or contacting your agent. You may also need to provide additional information, such as a description of the work you'll be doing.
What is the cost of general liability coverage in Missouri?
The cost depends on factors like the size and location of your business, your industry, your claims history, and your company's financial stability. Generally, the larger and more complex your business is, the more it will cost to insure.
For a small business in a low-risk industry, general liability insurance might cost as little as $500 per year. For higher risk work (i.e. roofing), you expect to pay significantly more.
Ready to protect your business with general liability insurance? Give us a call and get a free quote from us today. Bargain Insurance Connection provides general liability coverage for all Missouri and Kansas businesses.